Hertfordshire Police and Crime Commissioner.  
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Commissioner hits the streets of Hertford and Ware to support volunteer groups
The Police and Crime Commissioner for Hertfordshire, David Lloyd, took to the streets of Hertford and Ware on Friday night (May 9th) to support two volunteer groups working in the town centres.
 
Mr Lloyd saw the work of the Hertford and Ware Street Pastors and also FutureHope on the night, both of which have recently received support through the Commissioner’s Community Fund (CCF).
 
The Commissioner accompanied the Street Pastors, seeing the support their volunteers provide to people who use or work in the night-time economy. This follows a £9,000 grant from the CCF to support their work.
 
Friday night was also the first night out for the Hertford-based charity FutureHope’s new outreach bus, the purchase and refurbishment of which was supported with £20,000 from the fund. The Commissioner visited the bus in Hartham Common and spoke to volunteers about their work.
 
Commissioner Lloyd said: “Volunteers for both the Street Pastors and the FutureHope bus provide valuable welfare support to people who are out enjoying the nightlife that Hertford and Ware offer.

“It was excellent to see first-hand both the good use to which these groups have put the CCF grant money to and the positive reaction members of the public and the people who work in the night-time economy to the volunteers.
 
“I’ve said many times that I am keen to encourage and support groups that help make Hertfordshire a safer place. I would encourage other organisations and individuals that have ideas that could contribute to the aims of my police and crime plan for Hertfordshire, Everybody’s Business, to apply for funding.”
 
Street Pastors are an inter-denominational Christian group that patrol Hertford and Ware town centres throughout Friday and Saturday night. The volunteers assist revellers who may be in distress, need help or who just want to talk – and if necessary make sure people safely get to a taxi or other route home.
 
The Commissioner spent the night with them observing and learning about their work as well as talking to members of the public, door staff at various venues and taxi marshals himself. The CCF grant is helping them with training, uniforms and equipment for the volunteers as well as other costs associated with running the group.
 
Rick Hartwig, coordinator for the Street Pastors, said: “I am very grateful for the grant and say thank you to the Police and Crime Commissioner. This will greatly assist in keeping us going as there is an on-going need for training and recruitment to replace volunteers as they stand down.
 
“We have twenty very committed and enthusiastic Street Pastors in Hertford & Ware. New volunteers must be members of a local church, and will receive full training before they start work.
 
“What we do goes largely unseen by the public, and we often don’t know what ultimately happens after we leave people. I was delighted to receive text message one on Sunday morning saying ‘Hello, just wanted to say thanks again for taking care of my boyfriend last night. Just letting you know that he's ok’.”
 
The Hertford-based FutureHope charity received £20,000 from the CCF last year to help pay for the refurbishment a former mobile library bus into a vehicle for use in its outreach service.
 
The bus was stationed in the car park at Hartham Common on Friday night but can be driven to other areas around town depending on where the need is most required. Volunteers provide hot chocolate, games, drugs education and as well as just a safe place to be for young people.
 
Tim Simmonds, from FutureHope, said: “We are really grateful to have received a grant from the CCF fund and we are all excited to have our new bus on the road.
 
“Around 20 young people ran to the new bus when it parked up and we had lots of visits from young people in our first night – it was great to be out working with them again. We also hope that other local charities will be able to use it for their work.”
 
In addition to projects or services that support the Commissioner’s Police and Crime Plan for Hertfordshire (Everybody’s Business) are eligible for specific funding.
 
For further information or to apply, visit http://hertscommissioner.org/my_plan/community_fund.aspx